Court allows foreign press access to German neo-Nazi murder trial
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Court allows foreign press access to German neo-Nazi murder trial

Judges say hearings are of particular interest to Turkish media because several victims were of Turkish descent

Germany's Federal Constitutional Court, in Karlsruhe (photo credit: CC BY-SA, Tobias Helfrich, Wikimedia Commons)
Germany's Federal Constitutional Court, in Karlsruhe (photo credit: CC BY-SA, Tobias Helfrich, Wikimedia Commons)

BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s highest court on Friday decided that currently shut-out foreign media must have seats at the trial of a woman suspected in a far-right murder spree that has shaken the country.

Beate Zschaepe is alleged to be the sole surviving member of a neo-Nazi trio suspected of killing nine businessmen and a policewoman since 2000.

The case has generated intense media interest, especially in Turkey, because eight victims had Turkish roots.

The Munich regional court allocated 50 press seats for the trial on a first-come, first-served basis, but none went to foreign outlets.

Following a request from the Turkish newspaper Sabah, Germany’s constitutional court on Friday ordered that at least three seats go to foreign media.

It didn’t specify which foreign media will get access to the trial, which starts Wednesday. But in its reasoning, the court said that Turkish media had a special interest in independently reporting on the trial because “several victims of the alleged crimes are of Turkish descent.”

About 2,000 people took part in an anti-Nazi protest in Munich on Saturday.

Dpa news agency quoted an imam, Benjamin Idriz, telling protesters that the victims had come to build a secure future for their families, but “Germany did not manage to protect them.”

Several senior security officials have resigned following revelations during the last two years that authorities for years believed the murders to be the work of immigrant gangs, not racist violence.

Idriz said that people’s trust in Germany has been destroyed.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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